2nd Chicago officer shot in same neighborhood in less than a week
Police Superintendent David Brown blamed “brazenness” for a 500% increase in attacks against cops over the past two years
By William Lee and Tracy Swartz
CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer was shot and seriously wounded Sunday afternoon during a brief gunbattle in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side.
The unidentified male officer and a male offender were both wounded in the area of 69th and Sangamon streets, authorities said.
The officer was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in serious but stable condition, according to police Superintendent David Brown.
At an afternoon news conference outside of the Hyde Park medical center, Brown said he’d spoken with the wounded officer and his team. He described them as “shook” following the second shooting in less than a week in the district.
A female officer was wounded during a traffic stop Wednesday in Englewood. The next day, a CPD canine officer and a deputy U.S. marshal were wounded during a gunbattle on the Northwest Side.
On Sunday, Brown told reporters that three uniformed Chicago police officers were riding in an unmarked car in the 6900 block of South Sangamon Street around 2 p.m., when they made a traffic stop. The car they stopped pulled into an alley with a dead end, he said.
“The offender got out of the car and began firing at the officers, and there was an exchange of gunfire,” Brown said. “The officer was struck twice, once in the arm, once in the torso. The offender was struck as well. The offender is in critical condition, and the officer is in serious, but stable condition.”
Brown said he didn’t know how many times the offender was shot and police would hold off releasing details until video was reviewed of the incident.
Brown blamed “brazenness” for a 500% increase in attacks against police officers over the past two years. “Offenders are brazen in harming officers,” Brown told reporters.
In a statement posted Sunday on Twitter, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the U.S. Senate to take action to end access to illegal guns. “How many officers and residents must be victims of gun violence before we act?” Lightfoot said.
The second police shooting came as bad news for some Englewood residents hoping to avoid violence heading into summer.
Asiaha Butler, co-founder and CEO of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, noted that Sunday’s shooting occurred during “Wear Orange Weekend,” a nationwide campaign advocating for an end to gun violence. “Something more needs to happen than just events,” she said.
Butler said new efforts are afoot that would help bridge the gap between the police and the community and increase visibility and awareness between block clubs and neighborhood associations like R.A.G.E. But she said it’s difficult to reach people committing these types of crimes.
“I definitely think some bold strategies will have to be implemented,” Butler said. “What those are, I don’t know. But I think we’re going to have to stop doing what we normally do and start really thinking differently about the way we handle violence in the community.”
Darryl Smith is president of the Englewood Political Task Force, a group that mobilizes citizens for community action. “It’s a sad situation when any police get shot. You’ve got good police and you’ve got bad police,” he said.
Smith’s group also works to bridge the communication gap between skeptical and fearful residents and local police officers. Smith’s group and other neighborhood activists worked to calm tensions between police and residents in 2020 following the death of George Floyd and the police shooting of Latrell Allen, which sparked an uproar and was linked to downtown looting.
Shootings like Sunday’s, Smith said, make it “harder for us to try to have the community engage with the police because now a lot of people are upset when a person gets shot by the police … but we have to know all of the details, the ins and outs of all the circumstances surrounding this case,” he said.
Smith, who was in the south suburbs when he heard of the shooting, said he planned to head back to Englewood to speak with residents. “I’m headed back to the neighborhood to try to make sure there’s some calm there because the suspect got shot, also,” he said. “We have to make sure there wasn’t any foul play on the police side and the community’s in an uproar, so I’ve got to go back and put my ears to the ground and see what’s going on.”
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